Database Answers Logo Lady Gabriella Windsor, a Model
Modelling Tools
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Here's a short list of some recommended Data Modelling Tools in alphabetical order, and
if you have any specific recommendations or comments, please email me.

There's a short note about about Data Modeling and Database design at the bottom of the page, and there was an even more comprehensive list of CASE Tool Vendors, maintained by David Alex Lamb of Queen's University, Ontario, Canada, but the link doesn't work right now.

I am grateful to Thomas Kellerer for his valuable comments on Power*Architect and OpenSystemArchitect.

http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/studio/data-architect/features.html?S_CMP=wspace
PRODUCT
VENDOR
PRICE
COMMENTS
AquaData Studio ER Modeler AquaFold $400 A free 14-day evaluation copy can be downloaded.
The purchase price includes 12-month support. After the first year, support can purchased for 35% of the original license price.
"Discounted licences are available for qualified Academic users and Free licenses are available for qualified Open Source Software (OSS) Developers."
Altova DB Design Altova   One of a broad range of Tools.
Argo UML Tigris Free - Open Source For Modelling UML Diagrams - but not for the faint-hearted.
Azzurri Clay Azzuri (Japan) Free !!! From Japan -Open Source Plug-In for Eclipe - Reverse Engineering and generates SQL.
Pro version costs 35,000 Japanese Yen (about $150) !!
Case Studio 2 Acquired by Toad (see below under Toad Data Modeler) CharonWare Free Download, then $175(Lite) or $369(Full) Looks impressive - supports an unusally wide range of Databases, including Firebird, MaxDB,Postgres - if you try it, please me have your comments.
Here's a "5-Star" Review from Dan Horn.
CASEWise CASEWise   Aimed at Business Process Modelling, but has links to DataArchitect.
ConceptDraw CS Odessa $179 (50% off) For ERD, UML, ORM, FlowCharts, etc. - Free Download Trial is available. I like the appearance of the diagrams this Product produces and this is an important consideration for me.
DataArchitect Sybase $2,000 If you are buying for the company, buy this one.
DataArchitect is part of Power Designer, which is described below.
DataArchitect TheKompany $39.99 Highly recommended by Andy Brown and an unbeatable price. Comments and experiences please.
Database Design Tool (DDT) Open Source   THANKS VERY MUCH to Josh Bosh, Milwaukee's most beloved Web specialist, for providing this link.
Database Design Studio Chilli Source $39 - $200 Comes in two versions - Lite at $79 ($39 Educational), which supports ERD Modeling and Forward Engineering and Professional at $299, which adds support for Reverse Engineering.
Database Designer MicroOlap $125 Specially for PostgreSQL and includes Reverse Engineering.They give it away free if you mention it in your Blog.
DB Constructor Robert Schambach Free/$150 Here's a glowing reference at the FreeDownloadCenter Web Site.
DBDesigner 4 FabForce.net Free (Donations welcome) Open Source and highly recommended if you work with MySQL.
DBDesigner-Fork SourceForce.net Free A Fork of DBDesigner 4 (see above)- generates SQL scripts for Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL and FireBird.
DB Diagram Designer PrimeLogics Offers a free evaluation download or $130 to buy. Looks very interesting - modeller plus data editor using ODBC connections. If you try it please let me know your opinion.
DBSchema Concrete Software, Romania Free download and then only $45 to buy. Reverse Engineer Oracle and other Databases using JDBC connections.
Can also generate SQL to create Databases from a Data Model.
DBVisualiser Minq Free evaluation and then only $129 to buy,($103 for Education). Helpful for DBA work, like performance monitoring.
A Finalist for 'Best Data Access Tool 2005' in the Java Developers Journal Readers Choice Award and included in the BEA WebLogic Workshop.
Free version available with "the basic level of features that most users require".
Nizana $149 "Forward and Reverse Engineer, Affordable, Easy to Use."
Dezign Datanamic Offers a free download or starts at $229 to buy. A recent upgrade offers significantly improved features.
Supports Forward and Reverse Engineering for about 20 different Databases.
If you are buying for yourself, buy this one
Dia Hosted by Sourceforge Free - Contributions suggested "Dia is software for drawing diagrams similar to Visio", such as UML. It's Open Source with many authors. Install it from here
Druid From SourceForge   Generates SQL Scripts and Java classes.
Thanks again to Josh Bosh.
Enterprise Architect Sparx Systems $99 UML Analysis & Design Tool and very affordable.
Entity Framework Add-on IdeaBlade $995+/developer "Makes Microsoft's Entity Framework easier to use"
ER Creator Model Creator About $100 Includes a Tutorial and a Trial version.
ER Diagrammer KeepTool $240 Free download is available and a User Forum is supported.
ER/Studio Embarcadero FREE Trial Version available  
ERWin Computer Associates   One of the Market Leaders
Experience Electronic Exerience Free Trial then 90 Euros (about $50)  
Google WWW SQL Designer Ondrej Zara (Czechoslovakia) (Free) Open Source Good-looking sample Data Model.
Happy Fish Polderij NV. (in Dutch) $89 Previously known as Rational A great name and a new Product so please tell us if you have any experience with it.
IBM InfoSphere Data Architect IBM $5,570 !!! Provides reverse and forward engineering facilities for a range of databases, also ERD and UML Modelling.
ImportER MySQL Datanamic Excellent value at $55 Reverse Engineering for MySQL
Jude UML Diagrammer Jude FREE or $200 A FREE Community version is available, and they publish a lot of very favourable User Comments in their Community Forum.
KeepTool KeepTool $300 / 300 Euros Can Reverse Engineer Oracle Databases to create Data Models - Comments and experiences welcome.
MagicDraw No Magic   Award-winning UML Modeller and very popular with Java enthusiasts.
ModelRight ModelRight Free Trial This is a new modeling tool. "...one of the most complete and innovative Oracle physical modeling product. Support for more databases (MySQL, SQL Server, DB2, etc) and XML modeling will be added shortly".
MySQL Workbench MySQL Free with MySQL (also free) Looks good and offers Reverse Engineering.
OpenSystemArchitect Code By Design Free (Open Source) Thomas Kellerer says :- "I wasn't very excited about [this]. It crashed several times and the project doesn't seem active any more."
I have included it for completeness and I would welcome any comments.
Oracle Designer Oracle $200 Available from the Oracle Technology Network (free to join).
Oracle says "Oracle Designer is our model-driven development tool based on the principles of Information Engineering."
Oracle J-Developer
Thanks to Thomas Kellerer for helping me keep this up-to-date.
Oracle Free Download UML diagramming is part of J-Developer.
Also available from the Oracle Technology Network.
Oracle says "Oracle JDeveloper is an integrated development environment with end-to-end support for modeling, developing, debugging, optimizing, and deploying Java applications and Web services."
PG Designer From John.   Open Source - for PostgreSQL.
Thanks again to Josh Bosh.
Platinum Repository Computer Associates   This is a Repository, rather than a Modelling Tool, with a 'Where-used' facility, and it lets you add entity types,such as Business Function, Business Role and Script.
Poseidon GentleWare   Comes highly recommended, good for UML, and has an open-source FREE version.
Power*Architect SQL Power Free (Open Source) Thomas Kellerer says :- "Looks quite nice at first glance. Commercial Support is available" from SQL Power, which seems a good company to partner with.
Power Designer Sybase $2,000 If you are buying for the company, buy this one.
The Data Modelling Tool in this composite product is called "DataArchitect".
Unfortunately, the design of the web site has changed recently and information about Data Architect is difficult to find. But the product is excellent, and I have found its powerful Reverse Engineering facilities to be very useful.
ProVision WorkBench Proforma Corporation. Prices on Application !!! "A Repository-based integrated business process and object modeling toolset."
An interesting range of Data Model Exchange facilities.
Rhalotel DB Diagram Mgr
Rhalotel
98 Euros/$100  
RM Bench
Byte Refinery
Free Trial then $120 "Graphical Modelling of Relational Databases in Eclipse".
Saphir
Computer Associates 
(acquired from Silwood)
Used to be about $14,000 but check with CA Saphir is more than a Modelling Tool. It sits between an ERP like SAP and a Modelling Tool like ERWin.
It provides a very useful and powerful Metadata manipulation package which allows you to extract metadata from ERPs such as SAP, J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft, which can then be 'reverse engineered' into a Modelling Tool like ERwin, to see the Data Model.
SilverRun ModelSphere DM Data Modeller
Grandite
Offered on a unique Buy or Rent Scheme ($1,500/year).
But the Web Site says 'Please contact us for a customized quote' - which often means 'If you have to ask, you can't afford it'.
Offers Evaluation Download
SmartDraw SmartDraw $50 !!! Recommended - Promoted as a UML Drawing Tool with impressive support.
SQL Maestro SQL Maestro Group FREEware Please let me know if you have any experience with this product.
SQL Manager EMS FREE Trial available  
Squirrel Squirrel FREE Open Source
StarUML SourceForge FREE "The Open Source UML/MDA Platform" (from Korea).
System Architect 2001 Popkin $3,000-5,000 per seat. In an evaluation, I found this product very difficult to use, the diagrams were very ugly and it crashed too often for me to recommend it. Downloads available for Evaluation.
Toad Data Modeler Quest Free Download, then $479 Price is 30% off to CASE Studio 2 customers
From the makers of Toad, and based on CASE Studio 2 Includes 24x7 support, runs on over 40 DBMSs, and you can create ER & Data Flow diagrams, reverse engineer and generate SQL Scripts.
TogetherSoft Solo Borland Downloadable Supports UML
Toolkit for Conceptual Modeling (TCM) University of Twente, Holland Free and Downloadable Very interesting combination of Tools, including UML.
Thanks to Tony Adams for suggesting a better link here.
Umbrello SourceForge FREE Open Source UML Modeller
Visio Microsoft Trial CD available Many Versions- Standard($199),Technical($399),Professional($399) and Enterprise($999)
Visual Thought CERN (Godfathers of the Internet)   Give it a try for UML.
THANKS AGAIN to Josh Bosh, Milwaukee's most beloved Web specialist, for providing this link.
Win A&D Excel Software No price information on the Web Site Unusually offers products for MAC as well as Windows - UML Modelling as well as ERD.
xCase Resolution Software $800 (Download Trial available) "xCase is a complete database design and maintenance tool including archiving and model compare and merge across different DBMSs".

Lady Gabriella Windsor, a Model
Useful Links :-
CATEGORY ORGANISATION
COMMENTS
Discussion Group InfoAdvisors Data Model Group
Portal Data Management Centre Directory of Data Modelling Resources (Highly Recommended)
Portal DM Review Search for 'Data Models'
Portal Journal of Conceptual Modelling Worth Checking out


A short note about about Data Modelling and Database Design ...
Data modelling and database design are two very different activities.
 
For data modelling, the question you are asking is :
1) What does the world being modelled look like ?  
   In particular, you are looking for similarities between things. 
   Then you identify a 'super-type' of thing which may have sub-types. 
    For example, Corporate Customers and Personal Customers

   If, for example, supplier contacts are conceptually different things from customer contacts, 
  then the answer is that they should be modelled separately.  
  On the other hand, if they are merely sub-sets of the same thing, then treat them as the same thing.

2) For database design, you are answering a different question:-
   how can I efficiently design a database that will support the functions of proposed application or Web Site. 
   The key task here is to identify similarities between entities so that you can integrate them into the
   same table, usually with a 'Type' indicator.
   For example, a Customer table, which combines all attributes of both Corporate and Personal Customers.
   As a result, it is possible to spend a great deal of time breaking things out when creating a Data Model, and 
   then collapsing them back together when designing the corresponding database.
   
Dan Horne writes about Case ...

"I have found Case Studio to be an outstanding tool in its market niche. 
It supports a wide variety of databases, although I've only use it with Oracle, 
where I have found it to be excellent.

It's a bargain at $299, and with additional licenses costing only $89, it is well 
within the budget of most organizations that do not require an enterprise solution. 

I've been searching for a data modelling tool for some time, but most are not within 
my price range, and are generally aimed at larger companies. 

The competitive products I have found are marginally cheaper, but do not support the 
fundamental features I need such as the reverse engineering of existing databases.

The only weakness is the documentation, which is included as a help file.

Some topics such as exporting the diagrams to a graphic file are not covered, and there is 
no detail on writing templates to enhance and extend the system. 

Likewise, Data Flow Diagrams are barely touched on.

Nevertheless, I am very pleased with my purchase. 

Case Studio deserves to be much better known than it is.

Regards

Dan Horne"

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